The Bitcoin–Populist Masculinity Nexus

It’s quite easy to bring two of my recent lines of exploration together: crypto-masculinity and populist masculinity. For example, if you look at the Twitter feeds of populist masculinity celebrities Mike Cernovich, Roosh and Richard Spencer you will quickly find references to Bitcoin, and this interest spans out to various other lesser players in the populist masculinity domain. Indeed, it is tempting to say that the type of crypto-masculinity that coalesces around Bitcoin is pretty much the same thing as populist masculinity.

I have noted previously that there is a split between the way Bitcoin is framed as hyper-masculine and altcoins are framed as more effeminate. This rule is generally sound, but the populist masculinity angle offers an exception to this: privacy coins. Privacy coins such as Monero are technically altcoins (and therefore effeminate), but due to their difficulty to be surveilled they seem to have taken on a more masculine atmosphere. It is worth noting that Julian Assange (himself a kind of populist masculinity celebrity) promotes Monero and the privacy coin Zcash as ways to donate to Wikileaks.

The interest in Bitcoin and privacy coins in the populist masculinity domain functions as a subset of another larger intersection that would be worth exploring at some point in the future: gold and populist masculinity. I never really understood this connection properly until I started reading the articles and comments at the permabear economics site Zerohedge.

On a similar note, Will Sommer, editor at The Hill, recently tweeted, “Lots of far-right internet personalities are encouraging their followers to go in on bitcoin. Will be interesting in event of a crash.” I want to sound a note of caution here: think about what happens if Bitcoin does not crash, but goes to the moon. In this scenario, all those far right personalities (and with them, the populist masculinity celebrities) are going to become very wealthy indeed, which means they will have even more resources to pursue their political agenda. Progressives might want to hedge against this possibility by making their own modest bitcoin speculations.